In case you missed it, yesterday (Tuesday, December 18 2018) the Philadelphia Union resigned players who are said to be role players for the 2019 season. Fabinho, Warren Creavalle, and Kacper Przybylko rejoin the Union ahead of the 2019 season.
In a press conference with reporters Union sporting director Ernst Tanner said that he is “pleased to have reached agreements for all three players to return to our club,” he continued, “Fabinho is such an important leader for our club, a valued player and person who truly is the heartbeat of our locker room. Warren’s ball-winning skills fit well under our tactical philosophy, and we are encouraged with Kacper’s progress in regaining full fitness. All three are important depth pieces for us and we look forward to welcoming them back.”
All three of these players seem to be in more of a depth/fill-in role for 2019. Here’s a look at what each of these three players bring.
Fabinho is fifth all time in starts and games played in a Union shirt. He has been brought back for 2019, but his role will definitely be different.
Fabinho is now a veteran leader, not a 30+ game starter. The Union bring him back to mentor Matt Real, the left back of the future, and come in when the Union are in a pinch. His retention is very interesting as he was out of contract, but so was Ray Gaddis. Gaddis can play both left and right back, and is younger than Fabinho. With Fabi signing with the Union it’s likely the Union do not resign Ray. Either way, Fabinho is a great bench option and leader the Union can lean on if they need to. His personality is contagiously optimistic and fun, so it’s nice the Union will still have him as part of their team
Warren Creavalle has played 62 games for the Union, starting 34 of them. Creavalle has rarely been the relished starter. His tenacious play as a destroyer type of defensive midfielder probably helped in bringing him back to Philly for 2019.
While Creavalle is a good D-Mid, don’t expect to see him start many games, or even make the 18 in 2019. If the Union have Haris Medunjanin and Derrick Jones at the defensive midfielder role, then Creavalle will be third on the depth chart. This season should be Derrick Jones’ coming out party as Tanner is allegedly not that high on Medunjanin’s play. Should Medunjanin be moved in January, then maybe we see Creavalle as the back up for Jones in the 2019 season.
Kacper Przybylko was signed by the Union on September 16th of 2018. His presence was never really felt, as he suffered from a nagging foot injury. He never saw the field or the 18 in 2018. Przybylko is ready for a full year with Philly in a crowded position.
Przybylko is one of six players battling for one-to-two striker positions on the field in 2019. The other five players are returners Cory Burke, Fafa Picault, CJ Sapong, David Accam and newcomer Sergio Santos. This could make it hard for Przybylko to find minutes if he’s not up to the challenge. While rumors have swirled about the possibility of Sapong and Accam being traded or sold, the Union would still have four forwards on their squad. The Union have their choice of striker, will Przybylko break out as a good option? Other than modeling for the Union’s social media posts Kacper Przybylko has had little impact for this club. We’ll have to wait and see if he finds the field and makes an impact in 2019.
The roster is taking shape:
The Philadelphia Union now have 21 players on their roster before January.
With a possible nine spots to fill before the season opens in March, the Union will still be very active in January to fill the roster. These depth pieces are needed, but this is not the last move that will be made by Ernst Tanner, and the Union front office, as this off-season keeps rolling on.
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Mandatory Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports